Reflecting: 13 Things I Learned In 2013

Last year, I wrote this post about 12 things I learned in 2012, so I figured, why not give it another go with 13 things I learned in 2013!

1. You have to decide what you want out of life.  For too long I had just been floating along without a plan.  In 2013, I made decisions and now I know where I am going.  I still don't have a perfect road map, but at least I am headed in the right direction.

2. Complaints get you nowhere.  The grass will always be greener when you water it.  Put a little work into things and your side of the fence can look as lovely as you like.

3.  It's not the places that make a life, it's the people.  I had to leave everything behind to know what I was missing and appreciate it enough to come back.

4. Take risks.  I was in protection mode for too long, playing it safe is boring.  In this moment, you are the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be- enjoy that!

5.  "Life Should be lived passionately, otherwise you are playing another persons game."  This quote from Lewis Howes really resonated with me.

6. Nothing good happens after 4 or more drinks.  Maybe in 2014 I will give myself a 3 drink max- maybe not.

7. If you're bored then you're boring.  You'd think I would have learned that years ago from Harvey Danger.  There is so much to experience in this life, if you even feel the urge to say, "I'm bored", get up and go do something- anything.

8. Be yourself.  It's not always easy, but wouldn't you rather know people like you for who you are, rather than who you try to be.  It's okay to be flawed, we all are- even the people who give you Facebook envy. Stop competing and just do you!

9. I'm always going to be a little bit awkward.  I might as well own it.

10.  Fuel your body, don't feed your emotions.  The last third of the year has really been about me learning how to balance myself- mentally, physically and spiritually.  It's not easy, but when I focus on giving my body the best fuel it can get, I just feel better all around.

11.  There is nothing more valuable than time.  Unfortunately, I'm guilty of not always paying very much attention to how I spend it.

12.  Understand that everything is relative.  My problems may not be your problems,  my joys might not be your joys, but they are both equally significant.

13. Love at some point gets messy, but that's how you know its really love.  The most wonderful displays of love I have seen this year don't resemble a fairy tale at all.

What did you learn in 2013?  Pretty please share your new wisdom with me!


Year in Review

So 2013 was an awesome year!  Here's a  little recap of the things that happened on my blog in 2013!

January: I resolved to make 2013 my bitch,  took a super fun trip to Vegas with my favorite girls and I reflected on 10 years (one of my favorite posts to date).

February: Self Magazine commented on my instagram post and I got really excited and I went to a fabulous wedding.

March: I was still holding on to my health goals by listening to skinny Ashley and I was really busy at work, so I didn't blog very much.

April: I did my first style post and pretty much fell off the wagon with trying to work out.

May: I failed miserably at blogging every day in May- I think I made it two days and I attended the Elevate Blog Conference, which was soooooo awesome!

June: I moved into a new apartment and my roommates got a puppy.

July: I had a lot of deep thoughts like here and here, and apparently watched a lot of movies on Netflix.

August: As my birthday approached, I got really focused on Sweating Sexy Back, I gave up diet coke and I turned 28!

September: I was all about working out and eating healthy.  I tried juicing and I did a lot of sweating- A LOT.

October: I posted my first weight loss update, I went to tequila sunrise and I talked a bit about my hopes and dreams and decided I would be moving back to Arizona.

November: I found my new favorite movie, got my first anonymous comment and stumbled upon my next big idea.

December: So far this month, I wrote about some things I've been afraid to publish and have been focused on amping up my style game along with getting back into the dating pool.


On My Sh*t List

So by now you've probably figured out I am not the most consistent blogger.  I wish I could be one of those rock stars that gets a post published every single day, but I'm not.  So here we are.

You know what I really don't care for?  That feeling where your stomach jumps up into your throat and then falls back down again.  You know, like when you are on a roller coaster and go down that first big drop?  Well actually I don't mind that feeling so much when I am actually on a roller coaster, it's when it happens outside of an amusement park that it bothers me- like when you take a big risk or you get terrible news.  Putting yourself out there and taking a risk can yield big rewards, but waiting to see the results usually puts knots in my stomach.   And terrible news, well, no one likes terrible news.

You know what else I really don't care for?  Trying to meet someone.  I am very comfortable being in a relationship and really comfortable being single and avoiding dating.  But once I start to get a crush on someone, I turn into a 14 year old version of myself.  It's like I instantly regress and have the urge to start drawing hearts all over a notebook.   It's like I'm a pink heart covered version of The Hulk.  "Don't make me crush on you.  You won't like me when I'm crushing."  Just like The Hulk, this is something I need to learn to control.  Maybe more solitude?

While we are talking about things I don't like, I'd like to add hangovers, mean people and Alzheimer's Disease to the list.  I've had to deal with all three this week and aside from the hangover, they couldn't be avoided.  What's on your shit list?

Is it time for 2014 yet? New beginnings are my favorite!


Things I've Been Afraid To Publish

So I'm a couple days behind, but I just read all these posts about things other bloggers have been afraid to publish, inspired by one of my favorite bloggers Kym.   I decided to get real too.  Don't judge me mmmkay?

I worry that I will never be completely satisfied with my life.  I find it hard to focus on the now, instead I am usually focused on what's next.  I worry that this quality makes it hard to be close to me.

I'm afraid of what my life will be once I reach my goal weight.  I know that sounds silly, but being overweight is a convenient excuse for a lot.  It's easy to pretend people are judging you based on the way you look instead of who you are.  What if the person I am isn't very great and I no longer have that excuse to rely on?

I hate feeling forgotten.  In so many ways, I feel forgotten a lot.  I've always felt like an outsider.

I get jealous of other people's families.  People with brothers and sisters their age.  People who's parents are still together.  People who dance with their dads on their wedding days.  I love my family very much, but I wonder what it would be like to have that "perfect family" in the holiday commercials.

I have social anxiety with groups of people.  I am usually okay with groups of up to 4, or huge audiences of people I don't know, but put me in a room with 20 people I sort of know, and I turn into a shy awkward junior high version of myself.  I have to really pump myself up for these kinds of events.

I think there are maybe 3 people I can say I trust 100% and I suspect that those three people wouldn't guess I'm talking about them.

I don't ever really feel put together.  I'm never going to be one of those women with her shit together.  My purse will always be filled with random crap, my house, car and person will never all be clean at the exact same time and I will always have a hair out of place or a shirt on inside out or something awry.

One of my biggest fears is that I will never have children.

I've drafted about 10 posts that would make cosmo magazine blush, but I highly doubt I will ever post them. I've even considered starting an anonymous blog just to talk sex, relationships and other taboo things.

I hate being alone in the dark anywhere other than my bed.

I think I am a pretty terrible writer.  I'm super envious of writers and bloggers that use big glorious words with ease and paint a picture so poetically that it gives me chills.

I think people see me as a failure for moving back to Arizona- like I couldn't hack it or something.  I don't even know if its a true perception, but it makes me annoyed anyway.  Even though I'm keeping my job and working remotely and moving back for a lot of really legit reasons, I'm really disappointed that California didn't live up to my expectations.  I learned some valuable lessons though and it certainly was just the right adventure my heart needed to repair itself.

I'm afraid I won't ever allow myself to fall completely in love with another person.  I question now if I have ever been in love or if I just really wanted it to be love.  If it was love, how could it fall apart so easily and whats to stop my battered heart from getting broken again.  I literally pray every night that when the right guy come along, I will be able to let my guard down.

I hate going to the doctor because I am convinced they will find something really catastrophically wrong with me.

I haven't posted about #sweatingsexyback in a while because I feel unsuccessful despite losing a few more pounds and inches.  I started working with a trainer, so hopefully I will have the urge to write another post soon!

Want to break out of your comfort zone?  Link up with Kym.


Say Something

There is something so magical about getting onto hardwood floor in front of a wall of mirrors and expressing your heart through movement to words and beats.

Even now, years since I have been on a stage or even been to a dance class, when I find a song that captures a feeling, I find myself yearning to let my arms and legs express the words my lips might not have been able to.  Once the song and the movement come together, I become whole again.  I always loved being on stage because somehow whatever I was feeling during a particular dance felt validated when people watched me pour my heart onto the dance floor.  It's like they were listening to my internal dialog and understood me- whether they knew it or not.  I wanted my audience to feel what I was feeling.  Now even if it's just my reflection watching it helps me feel whole.  Thank goodness for mirrored closets and reflections in sliding glass doors.

Writing helps to do the same thing.  Sharing my thoughts through writing has always been easier than speaking them.  It's not that I don't always tell people what I think- because I do- but I don't always articulate it the way I mean to.  Writing feels more natural- kind of like just feeling the movement of an emotion to a song.  Somehow, sharing my thoughts with the world in this space has helped make them clear, valid and makes me feel more whole, in the same way being on stage used to.

Then I read these words and suddenly it all made sense:
"Writers, like dancers, do what they do because of a need to communicate, not just with
an immediate circle of friends or acquaintances, but with a much vaster circle made up of
individuals they might never meet."

I think its all about sharing artistry.  I certainly was never the best dancer and I know I am not the best writer, but there is so much to be gained by sharing.  Watching other people dance often moves me and reading the words of my fellow bloggers gives me strength, perspective and inspiration.

Tonight it was this cover of Say Something, that got me in front of a mirror and then tapping on my keyboard.  What moves you?


Drinking the Kool-Aid

Taking risks in life is scary. 
What if you fail?  What if your plan doesn't work out?  What if success doesn't look the way you'd hoped? What if your heart gets broken?  What if?  It's scary stuff.

But you know what is even scarier?  Settling.
Settling for a career you hate just because it pays wells.  Settling for a guy that doesn't give you that melted chocolate chip cookie feeling.  Settling for a life that doesn't live up to your standard of awesome.

Because here's the thing, your life isn't going to wait for you.  It just keeps on going, whether you've got your shit figured out or not.  So dream, but don't just keep dreaming- DO!  Do the things you've always wanted. Take the risks.  Fail. Dust yourself off and try again.  Imagine the life you want, then figure out how you're going to get it!
Get this vinyl wall decal HERE

You are the designer of your life.
You chose the people, the places, the careers, the things, the feelings. Why not design a life you love?  It might take time.  It might mean making sacrifices in the short term.  It might mean taking some risks.  It might mean you have some setbacks.  But it also might mean you build the life you've always wanted. A life that upholds your definition of awesome! This is your life and it's only going to be as great as you make it!

Get these beautiful prints HERE

Every moment holds opportunity.  Seize it! Focus. Fight for it. Love the journey.

Just like the man wandering the streets in Pretty Woman, today I ask you, "What's your dream?"

This pep talk brought to you by countless hours of motivational podcasts and way too many inspirational Pinterest quotes.


I Blog So Hard

Yesterday's post unceremoniously marked a big blogging milestone for me, my 300th post.

Back around post 250 I had thought about doing a big giveaway to mark the occasion. But time didn't slow down and 300 came and went. Sorry kids, maybe for $350?

T-Shirt: IWYP By: Whitney Ellen, Jacket: Express, Skinny Jeans: Old Navy, Booties: Kohl's, Necklaces: Express and vintage, Sunglasses: ummm?, Bracelets: Agate Shop, Lia Sophia, and vintage. Earrings: New York & Company.

I know I'm not a consistent blogger like so many of my peers, but I'm proud of the fact I have kept this little space alive for 301 posts. I "blog so hard"! My little baby is growing and thriving! Maybe now I can should try getting a plant?

Anyway, today I am stepping a bit out of my comfort zone and doing a style post, all thanks to my new Blog So Hard shirt from IWYP By: Whitney Ellen.  I'm obsessed with it!  So obsessed that I already placed my order for IWYP's December Shirt!  Seriously, it's so comfy and cute!

So that's what a style post looks like when taken with your IPhone. Just in case you were wondering...

If you want to get in on this months #OOTD  shirt from IWYP By: Whitney Ellen, don't delay!  Whitney only takes orders for 2 weeks and this shirt will no longer be available after December 24th at Midnight!


Envious Of Fashion Bloggers

I love fashion, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a fashion blogger.  I've always wanted to be a fashionista.  Seriously.  I spend way more time that I should ever admit to pinning outfits and ripping paged from magazines for inspiration.

Inspiration that I rarely use.

Why? Well for one, when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, I tend to opt for 30 minutes of extra sleep over figuring out the perfect outfit/hair/accessories/makeup combo.  Also, my wardrobe tends to err on the side of inexpensive and plain. Oh and of course, there is the issue of not wanting to stand out, but I am working on that one.

So today I thought I might tribute some of my favorite fashion bloggers, their perfect hair, flawless skin, genius ensembles, fabulous shoes, to-die-for accessories and their knowing grins.

I mean does Cara of Cara Loren not have the most gorgeous hair on the planet?  She's also got fabulous style!

 I love a girl that will rock a tutu!  Corilynn has this incredible classic style and a shop with many of the fab pieces from her blog!

Bethann of Bethanimal print has an incredible way of melding dressy and casual to create one chic look after another.  

If you looked up glamorous, you might find Julia of the aptly named Gal Meets Glam.  Chic, timeless and absolutely fabulous!

Kristal is from my home state of Arizona and named her blog Sincerely Arizona accordingly.  Another gal with envy worthy hair and feminine fabulous style!

What I love about Courtney from What Courtney Wore is that she is adventurous!  She combines feminine with edge and makes it looks so easy.  Oh, and now she has a TV show on Bravo too!

Katie from Running on Happiness has been one of my favorite style bloggers for a long time.  She has a surprising feminine style and a knack for pulling an outfit together in a way so creative it seems simple.

So, why the tribute? Well, let's just say you might see a style post around these parts very soon inspired by my new IWYP By: Whitney Ellen shirt.  Have you guys checked out her monthly designs?  So stinking cute!  And who doesn't love a slightly sassy t-shirt?

There is still time to order this month's #OOTD shirt if you head over to I Wore Yoga Pants! I already ordered mine- we could be twinsies!!


Dating in the Social Media Age: The Beginning

I stood near the bar with a group of friends, surveying the crowd.  I'd never been to this bar before, but I liked the atmosphere. The night was young and anything was possible.  Then above the low rumble of the crowd noise I heard, "But I don't want to be the only one who is engaged". Immediately my beer found it's way to my lips and I caught the eye of two of my single friends having the exact same reaction.  We gave each other "that look" and headed straight to the bar where one of them said, "I've got this round".  

I began wondering why the three of us, making our way hastily towards 30 were single.  All of us have steady careers, we're social and always have fun things planned, we're straightforward, but nice and we all have good hair.  What could the problem be?  Why does dating seem to get more and more complicated, even though we are becoming more and more self aware, successful and refined?

As we joined back into our literal circle of friends, I couldn't help but look around the bar at all the seemingly eligible bachelors.  Most of whom were just talking to one another, within their own circle of friends.  I didn't see many men making a move for women unless they arrived with her.  In fact, outside of the pods of preexisting friendships, I didn't see much interaction at all.  More people were looking at their phones than at strangers (with the exception of one brave soul who was tearing up the dance floor with any woman that said yes, including myself- but I'll come back to that later).  

It seemed, in my short survey of the young adult dating scene that most of us were relying on our digital persona to do the dating for us.  In an age where you meet more people online than in person, SnapChat can be used as a form of flirtation and sexting actually exists, one worries that we are missing out on the excitement of verbal and in person communication.  Do we rely on technology too much when it comes to dating?  Is texting, chatting, messaging, profile matching, Instagram stalking, Facebook searching, SnapChatting and Tindering ruining the authenticity of dating?  Are we programming ourselves to judge a profile over a person? The truth is, I don't know, but maybe my IPhone and I are what's really standing in the way of meeting the right guy.

Social Media and Dating

So, in order to help myself become more familiar with dating both online and otherwise and gain a little more insight on the topic, I have been reading and watching everything I can- oh and putting the things I've learned to use, when the opportunity arises.  In light of this current and personally relevant topic, I thought I would start a little blog series. Welcome to Dating in the Social Media Age.  

Have some thoughts on the topic?  I'd love to hear from you! 


Life Lately: Fun vs. Stress

Stress.  It creeps up when you're not expecting it sometimes.  It shows up disguised as tension at work, added responsibilities at home, financial troubles, holiday chaos and arguments.  I have been living the last few months relatively and blissfully stress-free.  Until today.  For some reason, today, shit hit the fan.

Everything fell apart all at once and today I'm having a hard time putting on rose colored glasses and feeling confident that it will all be okay.  So in an effort to not dwell on the stress knots slowly building in my back, I thought I would do a little recap of all the stress-free fun I've been having lately!

I did one of those color runs!  It was pretty fun, although I must admit, I didn't run the whole thing.  I still maintain I am not a runner.  I want to be, I really do, but I just don't think it is my destiny.  No matter, I like any excuse to put on a tutu.

Like I mentioned here, I've got some "cool shit" in the works.  Want to do some cool shit of your own?  I highly recommend reading this baby!  It made the idea of being an entrepreneur less scary by sharing real experience.  

I spent some time with my favorite munchkins.  They always make me laugh with their shenanigans. 

I celebrated Black Friday by going back to my natural hair color or almost black and getting my hair cut.  For the last few years I have played with cuts and colors, but this seems to be my old favorite.  I look like myself and I like it.  

I met a member of the Sons of Anarchy cast and decided it was time I check out the series,  it's been two weeks and thanks to Netflix, I'm halfway into season three.  Can you say obsession?

On my drive to and from Arizona, I really noticed how gorgeous the state is.  I've never appreciated the beauty of desert landscaping until I wasn't surrounded by it every day.  

I met up with all my favorite crafters to share food, wine and craftiness.  We made these wreaths together.  I'm pretty happy with how mine turned out, except now I want to make more. #crafterprobems.

When life is getting stressful, what do you do to decompress? Let me in on your de-stress secrets!